Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Deep Dive Rewind: The Twilight Zone, Part Two

When CBS picked up The Twilight Zone, it was just the beginning for Rod Serling. He insisted on writing most of the episodes. The anthology format used by the show was especially difficult; every week was a blank slate. The production had to start from scratch. For a standard show like I Love Lucy, the writers could start by coming up with a situation then fitting its familiar characters into it. The audience’s familiarity with the characters allowed the writers greater freedom in crafting stories. Serling would have no such luxury.

Each week would tell a different story, with different characters. Serling would masterfully take advantage of this, throwing the audience into each week’s story without context. By fashioning his show like this, the viewers were left to imagine what was going on. Sometimes viewers would guess correctly, other times not at all, but each episode of the show challenged viewers to use their own imaginations to figure out the puzzle laid out before them. It was an amazing endeavor; but what would CBS viewers think? Stay Tuned!